I was fairly new to climbing Mountains. I had only previously climbed Mount Donna Buang on two previous occasions. Both times ended in bouts of hypothermia & Mount Buller twice in atrocious weather.
Lake Mountain is 20.5 km’s @ 5%. There was a gigantic crowd show up with close to 300 riders to the domestique ride on 12/01/2013 in near perfect conditions. I was hyped as I hadn’t climbed Lake Mountain before. The first few km’s were steep. (4.3 km’s @ 8%) and were going to be the toughest.
I waited till most of the riders left before heading off, and the legs felt like gold. Smashing the climb in the big dog, and was thinking the first steep section was pretty easy even though it was over 10%. I was flying past riders as if they weren’t moving, and passed well over 100 riders in the first kilometre. Averaging close to 18 km/h in the first 1.1 km’s, which at the time put me 20thon the leader board for the start.
I was flying, but my inexperience cost me.
My legs had the strength to fly, but I didn’t have the cardio. After about 2 km’s I felt really unwell. Changing into the small chainring, I found myself in the hurt locker. I was still passing riders, but not so quickly.
I managed to get up the steep section, and when it flattened out I found a pace that I could stick with. Struggling to catch my breath, I was able to keep a consistent pace with those around me. The scenery around there is incredible, but the rest of the climb was a grind. I really only recovered over the last 3 km’s of the climb, where I found an extra burst of energy & was able to fly off on all those around me. Putting in a nice sprint at the end at 32 km/h into the carpark.
I managed to finish the climb in 1 hour & 5 minutes, and was 5th fastest on the day. With this time I am still in the top 7% of riders on that climb. Yeah I admit that I screwed up the climb. If I had paced myself up the first 4 km’s I could have easily climbed a sub hour.
But as I didn’t know the climb I was happy.
I have met a number of great people on these Domestique rides, and have been happy to have put a number of riders in joining them. They were a defining step in me taking on some of the big climbs. Having been so thankful to have a series such as the Domestique series run.
I had the afternoon free, and considered a double Lake Mountain, but opted on trying the Black Spur instead to Healesville. What a gorgeous place the Black Spur is, but alas its far too busy with traffic especially with heavy vehicles. I was pretty stuffed, and the return trip from Healesville was spent in the hurt locker. I was glad that I rode this stretch of road, but alas this will be a once off.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:
Here is a link to the Climbing Cyclists write-up of the day: